Move over, pumpkin spice lattes, we’re not talking about you right now.
While it’s true that autumn often brings to mind pumpkin spice lattes (or PSLs for short) as well as pumpkin pies on the Thanksgiving table, the actual pumpkin fruit–yes, it’s technically a fruit–actually has a lot of health benefits in its natural form. Even pumpkin seeds can be a great treat to snack on while watching Netflix instead of items like potato chips and other unhealthy snacks.
3 Health Benefits of Pumpkin
- Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and low in calories. Just one cup of cooked pumpkin will give you over twice your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, and comes in at under 50 calories as well.
- Pumpkin can help your heart health. People with higher intakes of potassium generally have lower blood pressure and a decreased stroke risk, and pumpkins have a healthy dose of potassium in each serving. Additionally, they are high in fiber and Vitamin C, which also have heart health benefits.
- Your skin will thank you. It’s no secret that our skin health declines when the temperatures drop. In addition to decreased levels of sunshine (and therefore Vitamin D), the fall weather shift also tends to dry out our skin more than it is used to. Thankfully, pumpkins provide a great source of nutrients and vitamins that are great for giving our skin the boost it needs during this time of year.
Pumpkin in and of itself can be a very nutritional part of our diet. Some may even consider it a superfood low calorie, yet high in “the good stuff” that it is. Pumpkin is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus it is a very nutrient-dense food, so it can help with weight loss as well.
Many of us immediately think of either fall decorations or the sugar-laden goodies, such as pie, lattes, or doughnuts, when we hear “pumpkin,” but do yourself a favor and pick up some of this powerful orange fruit on your next trip to the grocery store (or, better yet, grow it in your garden!). There are plenty of recipes out there to try to incorporate pumpkin into your diet, and plenty of health benefits in doing so as well.
BONUS: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe
Looking for a nutritious and delicious way to get some pumpkin into your diet? Try out this
recipe for a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg)
- 1 tsp vanilla
Blend it all together and you have a tasty treat for the whole family to enjoy.